Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Bottoms are Back

Last winter, Lindex launched part two of its "We love bottoms!" campaign: We love boobs!. Stockholm Transport (SL) deemed the breast-baring advertisements as too risqué, citing that they had "made the assessment that the text may cause upset among certain social groups." (The text is upsetting? What about the picture?). SL subsequently pulled the ads from the bill boards in the Stockholm subway and bus stops.

Now the bottoms are back, and can once again be ogled by Stockholm subwaygoers. I am reminded of the irony that a relatively tame advertising campaign can cause so much debate in a country where it's perfectly socially acceptable to bare your breast whereever and whenever you like, as long as there is a baby attached. I'm sorry: a breast is still a breast, whether or not it's being suckled. I personally find a real breast bared in the middle of a classroom a bit more shocking that the half-clad breasts portrayed in the "We love boobs" campaign.

Aftonbladet has another take on the subject; the women it interviewed didn't find the portrayal of bottoms offensive per se, but they were more upset that the average woman would never fit into the panties in question. My reaction to this is rather aesthetic: I would much rather see a small, waiflike woman modelling the underwear than a slightly overweight middleaged woman bulging out of them. Call me crazy.

It'll be interesting to see who else gets their panties in a knot over "We love bottoms" reborn.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Matte said...

It is an election year! Anything can happen for no good reason at all. Well, we ca always hope for some christiandemos to go ballistic about it, it would make Sweden a better place without them.

There is always the hope...

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your papers were never this entertaining-not close.

11:09 PM  
Blogger eff said...

SL's or ClearChannel's slogan could be changed to:

"We are complete asses."

Works on so many levels, I'm unabashedly proud of it.

The columnist Hakelius had an interesting take on it all. That throughout history even art has presented idealised bodies. Michaelangelo's David was used as an example, and if I remember correctly Venus di Milo as well. His rhetorical question was that perhaps it's not the presentation of an idealised body that's new, but our reaction to it. It's not the presentation that has changed, but our way of relating to it.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

I don't see anything upsetting with breastfeeding (in public) at all. It's nothing sexual about it the least! It's feeding a baby. I think it's beautiful! :) That's what we have breasts for - what they are meant to do.

Nothing to be compared to a stupid commercial or things like that that uses breasts as sex objects to sell products. That's way more offensive to me!

Not that the Lindex commercial was anything to get really upset about really... but I mean in general.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

Mia, I think maybe it's a cultural thing for me. You just don't nurse your child in the middle of any public place you deem appropriate...I think that it's great that women can be active members of society while having children. That said, it certainly doesn't hurt to at least be discreet, rather than baring all right in the middle of a restaurant or a classroom, which I experienced last spring. At the very least, cover up with a blanket.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

I absolutely don't mean that you are wrong to feel the way you do. :) I respect that.

I would probably be discrete - but more because I am shy than because of others.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Francis S. said...

C. - Uh oh. This is one of my pet peeves, along with being annoyed with people saying "orientate."
And I agree with Mia: I don't see anything wrong with women breastfeeding just about anywhere, it's not like it's noisy or smelly or anything. It is obviously a cultural thing, but we Americans tend to have a problem separating nudity from sex. And really, with women breastfeeding, it's hardly even nudity since most of the time they're not exhibiting any more flesh than a woman wearing a low-cut dress. It just seems a bit prudish to be so uncomfortable with breastfeeding.

But, as Mia said, you are certainly entitled to your feelings! And I suppose that most of the time, with a few exceptions of course, you can just look in the other direction...

2:30 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

Francis - I wasn't clear what you meant when you mentioned pet peeves; do you mean the attitude toward breastfeeding in public or ?? people thinking of breasts as sexual rather than as a source of nourishment??

2:35 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

What is the saying? An apple a day, begs the man to stay.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Francis S. said...

The pet peeve is people being upset by breastfeeding in public...

7:09 PM  
Blogger Mattias said...

People always complain about the looks of the models. "They don't look normal".

Well, it wouldn't seel with "normal" bottoms. Take the ass in that Aftonbladet article for example, which is more normal for someone 50+ I would say. People wouldn't buy the product with those pictures.

5:17 PM  
Blogger carly said...

Re: breastfeeding in public: I'm perfectly fine with it and I've lived most of my life in the US.

And about the campaign...to me what makes the "We love bottoms!" advertisement sound better is that 'bottoms' is a play on words...it means both asses and clothing worn on the ass. Whether or not Lindex was aware of this is debatable of course. I haven't got a problem per se with the "We love boobs!" ad, it just seems a little...I don't know...uninspired.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous ellen said...

aftonbladet also made the brilliant thing to a couple of days after the bottoms-article had one of the usual 'how to loose 10 kilos in 2 hours' articles. Obviously telling us that a 'real' bottom is not as small as in the ad, but should be. Brilliant!

2:57 PM  
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